Posts for: October, 2012

With today’s busy schedules, many Americans would probably admit to being addicted to caffeine. For women who become pregnant, giving up those daily diet Cokes or morning sojourns to Starbucks can be a bittersweet sacrifice. However, research offers moms-to-be all the more reason to hold off on that afternoon pick-me-up or morning cup of joe.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology found that an increasing dose of daily caffeine intake during pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of miscarriage. The study was conducted among San Francisco and South San Francisco pregnant members of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program from October 1996 through October 1998. Of 2,729 eligible women, 1,063 ultimately completed an interview that assessed daily caffeine intake and rates of miscarriage.

Overall, 172 women miscarried (16.2%); 264 women (25%) reported no daily caffeine consumption; 635 women (60%) reported consuming 0-200 mg of caffeine every day; and 164 women (15%) reported consuming 200 mg or more of caffeine daily.

Researchers concluded, “The results from our prospective cohort study supported previous findings that high caffeine consumption during pregnancy may increase the risk of miscarriage. We provided new evidence that the observed association was not likely the result of confounding by the pregnancy-related symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and aversion to caffeine consumption. Therefore, it may be prudent to stop or reduce caffeine intake during pregnancy.”

A new study found that the amount of folate (folic acid) consumed by teens can impact how they do in school. Specifically the study found that “folate intake had a positive association with academic achievement in the 15-year-olds.” The best sources of folate are fruits and vegetables, followed by grains and nuts.

Another reason for men to eat seafood is found in a new study from Japan. Researchers there determined that “In a population with high fish and seafood intake, fish consumption was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes in men but not in women.” While this study didn’t show any benefit in lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes for women, there are plenty of other studies that do show significant health benefits, such as a reduction in the risk of heart failure.

October 08, 2012
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The ratio between your sodium (salt) intake and your potassium intake can have an impact on your health. A recent study found that “higher sodium-potassium ratio is associated with significantly increased risk of CVD (cardiovascular disease) and all-cause mortality, and higher sodium intake is associated with increased total mortality.” Good sources of potassium include sweet potatoes, potatoes, tomatoes (paste, puree, juice, etc.), clams, yogurt, halibut, tuna and bananas.

Approximately 60% of children are exposed to secondhand smoke. In addition to the more obvious health dangers, a new study found that this exposure can also cause hearing loss as they reach adolescence. “Secondhand smoke is associated with elevated pure-tone thresholds and an increased prevalence of low-frequency SNHL (sensorineural hearing loss) that is directly related to level of exposure, and most affected individuals are unaware of the hearing loss. Thus, adolescents exposed to SHS (secondhand smoke) may need to be closely monitored for early hearing loss with periodic audiologic testing.”

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